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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Canadian Army to Honour 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge

DND Press Release

The Canadian Army will honour the sacrifices of Canadians made a century ago at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, and throughout the First World War, during a number of events throughout Canada between the 8th and 9th of April, 2017.

Apart from the Government of Canada events led by Veterans Affairs Canada, the Canadian Army will also take part in public events, parades and ceremonies held across the country. Locations include Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Petawawa, Quebec City, Regina and Winnipeg.

The Canadian Army contributed soldiers to the Canadian Armed Forces contingent that is currently in France participating in several Commemoration events. These include a military concert in Arras; a ceremony for the Hill 70 Monument in Loos-en-Gohelle; several sunset and sunrise ceremonies; and a signature ceremony at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in Vimy, France.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge is considered a significant milestone in Canadian military history, as it was the first time all four Divisions of the Canadian Corps fought side-by-side, securing victory for the Allies. This achievement, won at a high cost, has become an integral element in the rich, complex historical narrative of Canada.

For more information on the Canadian Army commemoration events taking place across Canada, please refer to the Canadian Army website.

More than 650 000 Canadians served in the First World War from 1914 to 1918. Our soldiers fought along the Western Front in France and Belgium; however, the Battle of Vimy Ridge became the most iconic Canadian action of the entire conflict.

By the spring of 1917, Europe had been at war for more than two-and-a-half years, with neither side able to make a significant breakthrough. As part of an Allied offensive, a major attack was planned for April in the area of Arras, France. In this attack, the Canadians would be tasked with capturing Vimy Ridge.

The Canadian achievement in capturing Vimy Ridge owed its success to a range of technical and tactical innovations, very powerful artillery bombardments, meticulous planning, and thorough preparation.

After Vimy, the Canadian military went from one success to another, their achievements to be crowned by the “advance to victory” in 1918. This record won for Canada a separate signature on the Versailles Peace Treaty ending the War.